Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC) is an important element of life at Greenford High School, appearing in our daily interactions, our assemblies and trips, our curriculum and extra-curricular activities. We aim to teach religious tolerance and respect, to develop our students’ moral, spiritual and social awareness, and to help them enjoy culture in all its forms, from the cinema to visual arts, drama to sport.
Our mission statement highlights this commitment:
“We aim to provide the best opportunities – academic, cultural and sporting - and a sense of moral and social responsibility so that each child realises that humanity is their business and the common good their aim.”
Greenford High School mission statement, 2011
For more details on how we address these vital aspect of education, click on the links below.
Although we are not a faith school, we recognise the importance of spiritual development for our students and that religious belief is a vital part of life for many in our multi-faith community. Every single student in the school studies RE, taking it as their “Gateway” GCSE at the end of Year 9. We do this to promote an understanding of spiritual matters and to promote respect for the religious views of others in our diverse community. Every assembly finishes with an Act of Worship where we ask students to pray or reflect, according to their individual beliefs, on the theme that has been covered.
Our students demonstrate their development in this area in their success at RE, in the respect and understanding that they show for the range of spiritual beliefs, in their curiosity for learning and in their imaginative and reflective attitudes.
Our key school rule is a simple one: Ready, Respect, Safe. We repeatedly teach our students the importance of being Ready for Learning, of showing Respect through Politeness, and in making choices that help them to be Safe. We also promote five Key GHS Values to underpin their actions:
- We are Learning to Succeed – so we will be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
- At Greenford High School we do not answer back or challenge staff.
- Respect is important to us – so we treat others as we want to be treated.
- We will look after OUR community because the reputation of Greenford High School is in the hands of each of us.
- Success or failure, good or bad, the outcome is our own.
Our students demonstrate their understanding of this area through their ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to apply this in the choices they make. Through our restorative work with students, we help them to understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions.
Examples of our work in this area include Chelsea’s Choice; Safe Drive, Stay Alive; Safer Internet Week; assemblies on making the right moral choices; Your Life, Your Choice events.
The social development of our pupils is demonstrated by their use of a range of social skills in different contexts, socialising with a range of other students from different religious and cultural backgrounds. We teach them about the fundamental British values of democracy, respect for society and the law, and tolerance of those with different faiths and cultures.
Examples of activities that help our students develop their social awareness include fundraising events, with over £85,000 raised since 2010 for a range of charities including Comic Relief, Sport Relief, Children in Need, Marie Curie, Water Aid and many more. They have had visits from the Chief Executive of Amnesty International, talks to Post-16 students from Lord Baker and Lord Young about politics, lectures on the power of the media from key advertising executives, BBC documentary maker Adam Grimley presenting on Brexit, visits to law courts and the Houses of Parliament plus annual participation in the Jack Petchey Speak Out challenge.
At GHS, we develop the cultural life of our students both in our curriculum and through the range of activities and trips that we run each year – between 150-200 annually. We raise our students’ awareness of the riches on offer in London with trips to art galleries, cinemas, the theatre, universities, great sporting venues, museums and libraries. Special events, such as World Book Day, our Spelling Bee, Enrichment Week, Living Library and our Media Awards Evening help to create a vibrant cultural life.
Our students demonstrate their development in this area through the enthusiasm they show, and the work they produce, in subjects such as Art, Drama, Music, English, Media Studies and PE. Two-thirds of our students achieve one or more GCSEs in Modern Languages and many of them speak a variety of different languages at home. Over the last year, we have taken students to Boulogne and Seville, to Tokyo and Berlin. Their cultural understanding is shown in their enthusiasm for school productions and concerts, the wonderful Art on display throughout the school and in the way they embrace the huge amount of trips, visits and clubs that we run. Their understanding is demonstrated in the tolerance, respect and appreciation they show for our diverse community whilst understanding the core values that must lie at the heart of modern-day life in Britain.